OpenBSD sdiff Question

Bert JW Regeer xistence at
Sat Mar 15 22:21:02 UTC 2008

On Mar 15, 2008, at 06:59 , Stanislav Sedov wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 14, 2008 at 07:14:04PM -0400 Steven Kreuzer mentioned:
>> [...]
>> For reference:
>> $ sdiff -v
>> sdiff (GNU diffutils) 2.8.7
>> Written by Thomas Lord.
>> Copyright (C) 2004 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
>> This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.   
>> There is NO
>> And my port from OpenBSD:
>> $ ./sdiff -v
>> sdiff (BSD diffutils) 602111
>> Written by Raymond Lai.
>> This work has been released into the public domain.
> Do we really need to display program version on -v switch? BSD has no
> tradition to keep separate program version, it's just a part of an
> entire OS. I believe we might just abandone this switch.
> -- 
> Stanislav Sedov
> ST4096-RIPE

Even if BSD has no tradition to keep a separate program version, it is  
still very handy to be able to give this data to other developers if  
something is failing. Programs that don't have a -v or --version  
switch are frustrating to people who are trying to find a workaround  
for a bug that is in that program, or when looking at documentation  
online, when the documentation is for one version and not for a newer  
version. It is a lot like uname on Linux not displaying what  
distribution it is running, making it harder to quickly figure out  
where stuff is located.

Dropping -v would be a bad thing, and make the tools not compatible,  
thus breaking many scripts that do expect a -v.

Bert JW Regeer
p.s. Sorry Stan about the double email. I replied to your privately  
first, and then noticed my mistake.

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